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'Personal Injury' Category Archives

February 5th, 2020

Claiming compensation with Foys Solicitors

Man with his arm in a sling is looking at a legal document, woman is behind him with a supportive hand on his right shoulder. They are claiming compensation

Claiming compensation can be a tricky process, but with a specialist and highly trained solicitor by your side, you can leave the legal jargon at the door and get the remuneration you deserve.

We’ve all been there. You pick up the phone, and it’s another company telling you that you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault. Most likely, you put the phone down in frustration. But when you’ve actually had an accident and you weren’t to blame, do you know who to turn to?

This is where Foys Solicitors comes in. The compensation process can be very complicated, but with the right legal representation and support, you can navigate the claim with ease and gain the maximum amount you deserve. In this article, our team of expert personal injury solicitors explain the claims process and what you could get with Foys by your side.

What does it mean to claim compensation?

Compensation is generally money awarded to a person who has been involved in an accident that wasn’t their fault and suffered an injury or loss. A common case for compensation is a personal injury claim, which is the formal process of seeking payment from the party responsible for your injury. This can be as a result of a road traffic accident, a violent crime, a slip, trip or fall, an accident at work or due to a faulty product or service. However, there are many forms of compensation.

You can be compensated for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Personal injury
  • Financial loss from fraud
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Loss from theft or damage to property
  • Time off work or loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Mental health issues and trauma

Suffering from an injury, whatever the cause and severity, is never pleasant. Often, you’re forced to take time off work to recuperate, and can even face financial difficulties. In the worst-case scenario, your life may be changed entirely due to a catastrophic injury. This could result in you needing extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, and you may also need to alter your home or car to cope with your injuries. All of these things can be very expensive and can leave you in a bit of a financial bind. This is why it is important to start the claims process as quickly as possible so that you can get your life back on track.

The process for claiming compensation

Dealing with the aftermath of your accident is complicated enough without the added pressure of dealing with the claim process alone. This is why you need to work with a solicitor who has had plenty of experience helping people get the compensation they deserve.

The process of pursuing a claim begins with an honest conversation with a reputed solicitor. Our personal injury solicitors will aim to understand your situation and assist you in arranging the necessary paperwork. This will include a medical report outlining your injuries, estimated recovery time, proof of loss of earnings and evidence of additional expenses such as physiotherapy costs and medication.

By working with you to understand every detail of your case, we can establish the value of your claim, the likelihood of it winning and help you negotiate a settlement with the offending party. If the case goes to court, we will represent you and help get you the justice you deserve.

Are you eligible for compensation?

There are strict time limits in place for claiming compensation. Normally, you have three years from the incident to begin legal proceedings. However, if the effects of your injury weren’t realised until years later, you have three years from the ‘date of knowledge’ from which to pursue your claim. There is no amount of time that you have to wait to start your claim, so the sooner, the better. One advantage of filing a claim shortly after the incident is that details will be fresher in your mind and easier to find witnesses.

If a child has been injured, a parent or guardian can claim compensation on their behalf. This may be from a traffic road accident or even a work-related injury if the child is old enough to work. Sometimes, an injury may have been sustained during birth or as a result of medical negligence during labour. This too is a case for compensation and can be pursued via a medical negligence claim. Alternatively, you can wait until the child is 18 years old, and they can make a claim themselves. Once the child is 18, they have three years to start legal proceedings.

Reach out to Foys Solicitors

With Foys, you can rest assured knowing that we’ll be with you every step of the way throughout the entire claim process. We can determine the value of your claim and help you to negotiate a settlement that’s in your best interest. If you have to go to court because a settlement can’t be agreed on, we will be there to ensure you’re well represented.

Choosing Foys as your personal injury solicitors mean that you’ll be working with people who genuinely care about your claim. We are dedicated to getting you the compensation you need to make your life more comfortable following your accident.

So, if you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you need someone to fight in your corner, we can be there for you. For a FREE initial consultation or more information on our personal injury claims services, contact one of our local offices today. Alternatively, you can email us at enquiries@foys.co.uk or complete our Contact Form.

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January 8th, 2020

What is negligence?

Negligence on paper on clipboardNegligence can take many forms, but it always causes wide-ranging effects. The highly skilled and dependable solicitors at Foys are here to shed some light on what negligence is, offer advice on how to prove negligence and tell you how Foys Solicitors can help.

What is negligence

To be ‘negligent’ is to have failed to take reasonable care to avoid injury or loss to another person. The responsible party would normally have had a duty of care to the other person and did not meet the standards of that care. All workplaces, medical organisations and businesses have a legal obligation or duty of care to ensure that persons within their establishment are fully protected against physical or emotional harm. To have been a victim of negligence is to have suffered an injury or loss which they could not avoid, at no or little fault of their own.

If you have been involved in an accident, and it was the direct result of the negligent actions of someone else, you could claim compensation. The objective of the compensation is to alleviate your suffering and give you a chance to focus on recovery and rehabilitation. The compensation usually covers loss of income, payment for current and ongoing medical treatment, psychological damage and medical equipment. To receive compensation, you must be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was directly responsible for any losses incurred.

Donoghue v. Stevenson – the original negligence case

Claims for compensation against doctors or businesses for negligence was all but unheard of before the early 20th century. But in 1932, a case appeared that defined negligence laws still applied in court today. The case in question was that of Donoghue v. Stevenson, and strangely enough, it was started by a bottle of ginger beer.

The case

In 1932, Mrs Donoghue visited a café where her friend bought her a ginger beer in a dark, opaque bottle. They had no reason to suspect that the bottle contained anything other than the said ginger beer. Donoghue had consumed most of the contents of the bottle before noticing a snail, in a state of decomposition, floating in the bottle. In consequence, Donoghue suffered considerable shock and nausea, as well as serve gastro-enteritis.

Donoghue sought to claim against the beverage manufacturer, Mr Stevenson, and asserted that the defender should have exercised the greatest care in ensuring the ginger beer was safe for human consumption. It also stated that it was an obvious duty of the manufacturer to provide clear coloured ginger beer bottles to facilitate inspection. Stevenson pleaded that Donoghue’s claims were insufficient due to the fact that the drink had been bought for her by her friend.

This case, deceptively simple, was a benchmark in modern negligence law, prompting the establishment of three things you need to legally prove negligence. They are as follows:

  • That you were owed a legal duty of care under the circumstances
  • That the defendant breached this duty of care by failing to uphold certain standards
  • That you were harmed or injured as a direct result of that breach

Though the case never went to court, Donoghue was found to fit into all of these requirements and was paid £200 in compensation.

Types of negligence

Negligence can take many forms and go through many avenues of law. Common forms of negligence include but not limited to:

  • Medical negligence (or clinical negligence) – substandard care from a medical professional that resulted in injury or worsening of an existing condition.
  • Legal negligence – poor legal representation or incorrect legal advice.
  • Accountant negligence – negligent behaviour of an accountant or financial advisor that resulted in loss of finances or income.
  • Architectural negligence – failure of architect, engineer or firm to adhere to regulations, to provide accurate architectural advice or to properly oversee a project.
  • Real estate agents or surveyors negligence – failure to provide accurate reports that form the basis of property transfer.

How do you prove negligence?

For a negligence claim to succeed and result in compensation, it is necessary to establish that a duty of care was breached and that the claimant’s (person making a claim) loss was caused directly by this breach.

When it comes to claiming for compensation as a result of negligence, having accurate and documented evidence is vital. Let’s take medical negligence (one of the most common claims) for example. If you are seeking a medical negligence claim, we will work with you to:

  • Discuss your case in detail
  • Assess if professional care of duty has been breached
  • Assess your chances of success
  • Request your full medical history
  • Engage independent medical experts to review your records
  • Obtain expert witness testimony
  • Prepare accurate events that led to you suffering the injury or worsening of a condition
  • Start proceedings

During the process, our medical negligence solicitors will work with you every step of the way so you are fully informed. No matter the circumstances, we can help you understand the process of medical negligence compensation claims. Our supportive and efficient solicitors also work to ensure the best chance of success.

Another factor that influences a compensation claim is the financial effects negligence has upon you and your family. Financial loss such as missed work and loss of business should be considered when making a compensation claim, as well as any long-standing health effects (ongoing counselling, rehabilitation, mental health issues, to name but a few).

Types of compensation

If your case is successful and the involved parties come to a decision, you should be paid compensation. There are two types of compensation – General (compensation related to direct effects of the negligence) and special (compensation related to any out-of-pocket expenses).

For more information on the types of compensation you could receive, take a look at our informative Professional Medical Negligence Solicitors page. If you have suffered an injury at work or in a public area which was not your fault, contact our highly skilled personal injury solicitors for more information on the best route to compensation.

How much compensation you receive depends on a multitude of factors. We caution our clients to be wary of solicitors promising astronomical figures because it is impossible to predict an exact figure without having a qualified solicitor reviewing the ins-and-outs of your case. So contact one of our solicitors as soon as possible, give us a chance to review, advise and guide you on the best route possible to get the compensation you deserve.

Time limits for making a negligence claim

It is essential that you start the claims process the moment you know an incident has taken place. This is because you have three years to file professional negligence claims. Additionally, when things are fresh in your mind, it is easier to gather the necessary evidence.

Having said that, sometimes the effects of the negligence are not realised until years later. In this instance, you may start your case from the ‘date of knowledge’ as specified in Limitation Act 1980.

How long will a negligence case take?

It depends on how complex your case is. In some cases, we seek to resolve the case through mediation (and thereby saving your time and money) or work to reach an out-of-court settlement. If the case goes to court, it could take anything from 12 to 36 months.

What about personal injury?

Negligence can also occur at work, on the road and in various places, resulting in personal injury. For example, you slipped and fell at work or in a supermarket, or you suffer from an injury caused by faulty goods. The upshot of it is that you can claim compensation. For more information, please visit our personal injury page.

Foys Solicitors can help

At Foys, we understand how frustrating and upsetting negligence can be, both for yourself and your family.

If you have a medical negligence case or a personal injury case, contact us today. Our solicitors approach every case with the highest respect and work relentlessly to represent you and help you attain the compensation you deserve.

Our medical negligence solicitors can help in:

  • Gynaecology/Obstetrics/Birth Cases
  • Hospital cases
  • GP/dental/optical
  • Claims related to residential care
  • Medical misdiagnosis
  • Private cosmetic surgery
  • Fatal accidents

Our personal injury solicitors can help in:

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slips and trips
  • Serious injuries and fatal injuries
  • Neglect and abuse claims
  • Criminal injuries
  • Injuries caused by faulty goods

We’ll do everything in our power to help you win your case and get you the compensation you deserve. For an initial free consultation, contact your local Foys office today.

We can begin to understand your case and offer some advice on the likelihood of its success. Alternatively, fill out our handy Online Form.

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November 13th, 2019

The facts about under-settled personal injury claims

Personal injury law book on a table

Often, lawyers will settle cases before they go to court, but not always for the correct amount. If you feel like your claim has been under-settled, there are things that you can do to challenge the amount of compensation you received.

The main role of a personal injury lawyer is to value and negotiate a settlement. Some cases, however, are prematurely settled. This may be to avoid the expenses of going to court or to avoid a lengthy negotiation process.

When you’re hurt in an accident, you can make a personal injury claim against the person who is at fault. This may have been through someone else’s negligence or rash behaviour. How much to claim depends on a few factors and your legal representative would generally value and negotiate the claim based on:

  • The evidence
  • Your financial losses as a result of the accident
  • The seriousness of the injury
  • Loss of amenity
  • Any future care
  • The psychological aspects of your injury

What are under-settled cases?

The term ‘settling’ refers to the stage in the claim process where the involved parties have come to an agreement on the amount of compensation due. Once it is settled, the compensation is paid to the claimant (person making the claim). However, this compensation may not have been the correct amount due. The claim may have been settled for less than its true value.

If you are in the process of settling – or have settled a personal injury claim and feel like you haven’t been compensated fairly, then the case may have been under-settled. An under-settled case is when your claims handler accepts a lower settlement due to inexperience or wanting to resolve your case quickly.

You may have also been put under pressure to accept the claim. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to take a step back and allow the specialist personal injury solicitors at Foys to handle it. We can explain the ins and outs of under-settled cases, and what you can do to challenge them, if you suspect that your case has been handled in this way.

Reasons why under-settled personal injury claims happen

Under-settled personal injury claims happen due to negligence by your lawyer. Some examples of how a lawyer may be negligent with a personal injury claim are:

  • Inexperience – In an effort to cut costs and maintain high profits, many firms have taken to using unqualified juniors or claims handlers to manage cases. These lawyers lack the necessary skill or expertise to handle cases properly, so they may miss crucial evidence, fail to consider all of the possible damages, and even accept the first offer made without trying to negotiate for a higher sum. Often junior case handlers will be pressured to run cases quickly, in an effort to minimise costs.
  • Failure to obtain medical evidence – Sometimes, in more extreme cases, claims will be settled prior to obtaining a proper medical report. This is a dangerous cost-cutting method, as it prevents lawyers from evaluating a case reliably. This can result in claims being settled for far lower than they should be.
  • Not taking all the necessary information into account – sometimes a lawyer may improperly value your claim. They may fail to take into account care costs, future care and rehabilitation, missed pension contribution and financial losses.

Fighting back against under-settled claims

As is the case with most things, prevention is better than a cure. There are several warning signs that can indicate when a lawyer is likely to under-settle your case, and by looking out for these signs, you can protect yourself and ensure you get the money you deserve. Here are some things you can do to avoid being under-settled:

  • Ask about qualifications – Many inexperienced claims handlers may not have the correct qualifications.  Your professional lawyers should tell you who is handling your claim and prove their worth. Often personal injury claims are managed by claims management companies, where the staff may not be fully qualified to litigate. This also means that your case may not receive the level of attention it deserves.
  • Be suspicious of the first offer – Lawyers will very rarely accept the first offer, as it can often be a lowball – a deliberately very low offer, often to test the waters. There is no risk to the opposite party from making a lowball offer, so you should be extremely suspicious of any lawyer that suggests you take the first amount offered.
  • Don’t be pressured into settling quickly – There’s no denying the process is stressful, but if you settle as quickly as possible then you will likely not get as much compensation. You may also choose to settle when you have made a full physical and psychological recovery from your injury should you begin the process so that you have all the medical evidence possible.
  • Ensure a proper medical report has been generated – this will allow a professional lawyer to evaluate your claim properly.
  • Make sure your lawyer knows the gravity of your injuries – receiving compensation that matches your injuries is important, so ensure that your lawyer knows the effects your injury is having on your life. If you need future care and rehabilitation, this must be taken into account, as it will affect you and your family’s future financial stability.

Don’t risk it

At Foys, we understand how frustrating an under-settled personal injuries claim can be. Our team of specialist personal injury solicitors have a wealth of experience in winning these types of cases for our clients. Unlike inexperienced claims handlers, we care about your case and will do everything we can to handle it professionally the first time around.

To find out more, get in touch using our Online Form – or give us a call on 01302 327136. Alternatively, drop us an email at enquiries@foys.co.uk.

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October 9th, 2019

What to do when you’ve been injured by an uninsured driver

Injured in car accident by uninsured driver

Many of those who have been in an accident follow a straightforward procedure of swapping license plate numbers and leaving the rest to the insurance company.

However, there are times when it isn’t that simple. The person may have been severely injured, and when it comes to dealing with it, they find out the bad news – the other party does not have insurance.

While it may seem like a dead-end, there are things you can do at this point. In this article, the professional motoring offences team at Foys Solicitors help you to get to grips with seeking compensation after being hit by an uninsured driver.

Take note at the scene

Ideally, it would be good if you or your passenger could note down the involved vehicles make, model and registration number, as well as any witness statements and contact details. Any evidence you can use to prove that the accident was not your fault is preferable (this can also be in photo form). Take note of the damage inflicted to your vehicle as you can claim repairs from your own insurer.

If the person driving the other vehicle refuses to give you the details of their insurance, you may make a formal complaint to the police.

Check your contract

Before you begin any kind of process against an uninsured driver, you should always check your contract. Depending on your insurer, you may have one of a few types of protection:

  • Protected no claims bonus – when hit by an uninsured driver, you are often forced to claim on your own insurance, which instantly ruins your no claims benefits. Some companies will preserve your bonus if the other driver is uninsured, though they may still raise your premium when the time comes to renew it.
  • Waived excess – if you have comprehensive insurance, you will have to claim on your own policy, which is understandably frustrating. Many insurers recognise this and will waive your claim excess, so it doesn’t cost you money to make a claim. This often comes from companies that have an uninsured driver promise.

Bear in mind that even with these types of protection, the companies may still deduct the no claims bonus and ask you to pay the excess while the claim is being decided, returning both if it is ruled in your favour. It may also increase the premium you pay when it comes time to renew your insurance.

Not all companies offer this protection, and many offer variations or combinations of them, so it’s always worth checking beforehand to make sure you take advantage of any protection you may already have.

The Motor Insurer’s Bureau

The Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) is an independent organisation set up by insurance companies. Their purpose is to compensate people who have been hit by uninsured or untraceable drivers, entering into agreements with the UK government to do so.

They can help in the UK and in Europe, but the conditions under which they can help vary between countries. A full list can be found on their official website. In addition, these claims can take anywhere from three months to a year to be completed, depending on the complexity of the case.

The MIB carries out their own investigations into the case, obtaining independent reports from motor engineers or witnesses, collecting police reports and contacting the DVLA and your insurer. If you are claiming for personal injury, you may need to provide your medical records.

There are a few instances where the MIB cannot help you, including if you were a passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver, the accident didn’t take place in a public area or if you were in a vehicle which you should have known wasn’t insured.

Get help from Foys – personal injury and motoring offence solicitors

At Foys Solicitors, our personal law team has expertise in many fields of law, from motoring accidents to personal injury, and we can help you pursue potential options if you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver.

We will support you through the process, so the stress of the accident doesn’t follow you into your future.

To find out more, get in touch using our Online Form – or call your local Foys Solicitors office:

Before you go, take a look at some of our other articles:

This post is not legal advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

October 2nd, 2019

Personal injury solicitors

Personal Injury Lawyers in South YorkshireSuffering an injury is a distressing experience and can have a devastating impact on your life.

Our expert team of personal injury solicitors can assess your case and help you get the compensation you’re entitled to. We understand the worries you may have after suffering an injury, especially if it is preventing you from going back to work and thus affecting your financial situation. At Foys, we have years of experience in dealing with such cases so you can trust that we will work hard to make a successful claim.

We work on a no win, no fee basis, which means that if your case is unsuccessful for any reason, you won’t be liable to pay any costs.

The areas of personal injury covered include:

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slips and trips
  • Serious injuries and fatal accidents
  • Neglect and abuse claims
  • Criminal injuries claims
  • Injuries caused by faulty goods

For more information regarding how we can help you, check out our recently updated ‘Personal Injury’ page. Here we explain in depth the mentioned areas of law that we cover.

The process to make your personal injury claim can begin with a FREE consultation where we will discuss your case thoroughly in order to understand your situation.

Contact Foys Solicitors for advice on a personal injury claim today

To book an initial free consultation or to find out more about our Personal Injury services, call on 01302 327136 to book your FREE initial consultation. Alternatively, you can send us a message via our Contact Form.